A successful debut requires a smashing social event, and in this dazzling new series from New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries, the key ingredient is Elegant Occasions—a talk of the ton trio of creative, enterprising young ladies who’ve rejected working as governesses to become party planners. And if they, and their wealthy clients, happen to find love along the way, it just makes their efforts more rewarding...
Self-made civil engineer Geoffrey Brookhouse has unexpectedly inherited the dukedom of Grenwood. But he has a secret that could ruin his family. Hoping to save his timid sister from that fate, he seeks to marry her off to a respectable, protective gentleman. With the London Season imminent, Geoffrey hires Elegant Occasions to orchestrate her debut. Yet Lady Diana Harper, spirited fashion expert, proves more than he bargained for. Suddenly, Geoffrey’s sister is emerging from her shell, and he is beleaguered with social invitations and gossip! Worse, Diana is attempting to transform him into a presentable duke—when all he really wants is to win her heart...
Diana doesn’t know what to make of the handsome, disheveled duke. The man bristles at the very idea that his fashion faux pas might spoil his sister’s chances. Yet Geoffrey’s stubbornness simply inspires Diana to ruffle his feathers—by setting him on a course of self-improvement. Although there’s something endearing, even irresistible about his flaws, can a man who hates the ton tolerate a woman who makes her living catering to them? Little does either know that they have more in common than they suspect—and that two can create a society all their own...
I love a strong historical romance with characters who are both from a different era and also relatable as people, and Geoffrey and Diana were both.
Diana is a proper lady with a reputation that has been spoiled by the actions of someone close to her that she had nothing to do with, but the world in which she exists is incredibly unforgiving about that sort of thing. Geoffrey had no idea when his father died that it meant he was in line to become a Duke...and, suffice to say as he had no idea, he also is rather ill prepared for the expectations now placed upon him by society.
Watching both of them deal with one another, both attracted to the other but also annoyed by the things that make them who they are, was a lot of fun. The connection between the 2 of them is strong, and you believe in their actions as they try to navigate the relationship they want to explore within the constraints placed upon them by society.
I enjoy historical romance for the glimpse into another world that they provide. But, sometimes in the midst of creating that world, the fun of the world is lost in the details. I thought the idea of the the Duke and his sister being guided through their first season was a clever way to not only make sure the reader wasn't lost in the story, but to also add in a little more of the Regency world than is common as it could be explained without making it feel like you are reading a textbook.
I enjoyed the sisters and the extended family as well, and I am looking forward to the next title in the series.
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